What did you get for Christmas? I received a cloning device.
For me, cloning is not a good word. A box was delivered to our home from someone in New Mexico. I didn’t know the sender. I opened the box and inside was something called a Clone King. I imagined a lab in New Mexico cloning sheep, like that poor little lamb born in Scotland, called Dolly.
I want nothing to do with cloning. Back in 1996, I thought Dolly was a frightening monster in sheep’s clothing. I boxed up the contraption and hid it in a closet.
After Christmas, my brother-in-law wanted to know what I thought of the propagating device he gave me for Christmas…… say what???
Oh! I guess I’m a wee bit suspicious these days.
I hauled my Clone King/Queen down to the Garden Education Center’s greenhouse where I volunteer. I decided I wanted to experiment amongst friends.
The Cloner is a 14″x 14″ plastic box that comes with a small pump, which is centered in the bottom of the box. I attached the spraying device to the pump, (something like a green grocer uses to mist produce), and filled the reservoir with water. The contraption suspends 25 small pots above these spray heads.
I was stepping into a brave new (weird) world of propagating. Ordinarily, I take a cutting, dip it in rooting hormone, then plant it in a propagation mix. This method relies solely on oxygenated water that mists just the plant’s stem.
I’ve never had success propagating this gorgeous Camellia japonica. It’s not the optimum time to take cuttings, as it’s not yet pushed out any spring growth, but I decided to give the cloner it’s toughest challenge first.
I filled the rest of the cloner pots with Citrus, Bougainvillea, and Hibiscus, and plugged her in.
The sprayers continually mist the stems of the cutting. They are not submerged in water.